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Critique of Kane and Abel

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 02:02 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.2 
  • Words: 1854
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Jeffrey Archer’s epic novel Kane And Abel could just as easily be two novels; one named Kane and the other Abel, such is the difference between the two characters. From the outset, we are aware of William Lowell Kane’s privilege and of Abel Rosnovski’s poverty. Both are born 15th April, 1905 as male members of the human race. These are the most obvious similarities shared by the two. Their contrasted births introduce us to two different personalities and two different histories, which fate is to overlap at critical moments.

Abel is born in a forest in Poland. A young hunter, alert to the sound of screaming, rushes to the mother and child. Mother is dead and the hunter feels responsible for this child:

“Suddenly the young hunter saw the woman, with her dress above her waist, her bare legs sprayed wide apart. He had never seen a woman like that before. He ran quickly to her side and stared down at her belly, quite frightened to touch. There, lying beneath the woman's legs, was the body of a small, damp, pink animal, attached only by something that looked like a rope......”

Observe the difference of William’s birth:

“.....It never occurred to him, not even for a moment, that the baby might be a girl. He turned to the financial pages and checked the stock market: it had dropped a few points; that damned earthquake had taken $100,000 off the value of his own holdings at the bank, but as his personal fortune remained comfortably over $16 million, it was going to take more than a California earthquake to move him ..."Congratulations, Sir, you have a son, a fine-looking little boy." What silly remarks people make when a child is born, the father thought; how could it be anything but little? The news hadn't yet dawned on him - a son. He almost thanked God. The obstetrician ventured a question to break the silence. "Have you decided what you will name him?" The father answered without hesitation:...


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